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interviews with muslim scholars
Akbar Muhammad

An associate professor of history and Africana studies at Binghamton University in New York, Dr. Akbar Muhammad specializes in African history and Islam in Africa and the Americas. He received his Ph.D. at Edinburgh University in Scotland and performed extensive field research in northern and western Africa. He studied Arabic and Islamic jurisprudence at Al Azhar University in Cairo and is fluent in Arabic.

Dr. Muhammad is the co-editor of Racism, Sexism, and the World-System with J. Smith, J. Collins and T.K. Hopkins and has written on slavery in Muslim Africa, Muslims in the United States, and integration through education in Nigeria. This interview was conducted in March 2002.

Imam Feisal Abdul Raaf

He is the imam of Masjid al-Farah in New York City and founder of the American Sufi Muslim Association (ASMA) Society, a not-for-profit, non-political, educational and cultural organization dedicated to creating bridges between the American public and American Muslims. Born in Kuwait and educated in England, Egypt, and Malaysia, Abdul Rauf has a degree in physics from Columbia University in New York and a master's degree in plasma physics from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. Abdul Rauf is a member of the board of trustees of the Islamic Center of New York, and Islamic advisor to the Interfaith Center of New York. He is the author of Islam: A Search for Meaning and Islam: A Sacred Law, What Every Muslim Should Know About the Shari´ah. This interview was conducted March 2002.

Nilufer Gole

She is professor of sociology at Bogazici (Bosphorous) University in Istanbul and a leading authority on the political movement of today's educated, urbanized, religious Muslim women. A prominent Turkish scholar, she is the author of The Forbidden Modern: Civilization and Veiling. Through personal interviews, Gole has developed detailed case studies of young Turkish women who are turning to the tenets of fundamental Islamic gender codes. Her sociological approach also has produced a broader critique of Eurocentrism with regard to emerging Islamic identities at the close of the 20th century. She has explored the specific topic of covering as well as the complexities of living in a multicultural world. This interview was conducted in June 2001.

Gole will be addressing the 15th ISA World Congress of Sociology in Brisbane, Australia, in July 2002.

Chandra Muzaffar

A Malaysian academic and social activist who teaches at the Center for Civilizational Dialogue at the University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Muzaffar is a critic of what he sees as the damage and oppression brought on by indiscriminate globalization in third world countries. Founder and president of Aliron, a multi-ethnic Malaysian reform movement dedicated to justice, freedom, and solidarity from 1977 to 1991, he is now president of the International Movement for a Just World, an NGO based in Kuala Lumpur concerned with global politics and social justice. In October 1987, Muzaffar was arrested by the Malaysian government under the Internal Security Act and released without conditions in December 1987. The following year he was nominated by Human Rights Watch as a monitor. This interview took place on Oct. 10, 2001.

Amina Wadud

She is professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective. An internationally known scholar on the subject of women in Islam, Dr. Wadud is also an expert on influences of Islam in America. She has spoken about these issues on television broadcasts internationally and is fluent in Arabic. This interview was conducted in March 2002.


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